A Simple Tip For Humans Who Have Trouble Slowing Down: Just Sit
Sloths sleep 20 hours a day. Humans don’t. If you’re a human and you sleep that much, I might suggest that there’s something wrong and you should get professional help.
However, I find that many humans have the opposite problem: not being able to stop or slow down. They’re like my friends: Rapid Rabbit who is always running from one thing to the next, or Type A Tyrannosaur who works constantly for the sake of achievement itself.
My human friend, Cheryl, also has that trouble. She finally was able to leave the job she didn’t want, and this meant that she had time — time to wander about in the morning with a cup of coffee, watch the sunrise, look at the stars. She also had time to write, which was what she always thought she had wanted to do. So she took to blogging, loves it, but suddenly she was hammering away at her computer ALL THE TIME and not doing any of those other things. And she’s someone who used to have a consistent meditation practice.
It’s OK to want to achieve, and meet goals, but stuff activity after activity into a day and you’ll miss the stuff that makes life meaningful.
Often, the way to make anything happen occurs in small, tiny steps. Remember the (probably overused Chinese proverb, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?” Some things become cliche because they’re true.
Meditation, or not even meditation at first, but simply the practice of stopping can be a way to help yourself ease into slowing down, at least just a bit. Just getting into a regular habit of a practice starts the journey.
Surely, you have 10 minutes to sit your butt on a cushion in the morning and follow your breath. Can’t even attend to your breath? Just get in the habit of sitting your butt on the cushion for that 10 minutes daily and, eventually, you’ll get there. Don’t want to “meditate?” Call it prayer. Call it paying attention.
And then, once in a while, try to stop during the day. Actually use that annoying breathe app on your watch instead of ignoring it. Set a “mindfulness bell,” to go off once in a while.
And just stop — sit or look or notice. It doesn’t need to be for a long while, you’re not in competition with anyone for a mindfulness-of-the-year award. It just need to be regularly. And, eventually, you’ll find that it get easier.
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